Wednesday, May 16


We give in to the persuasions of the river, floating
Swiftly downstream as well as the leaves beside us,
Ahead of us, with little choice
Which way it may be next
That we find ourselves
One boat-length farther along, taking the rough with the smooth,
To the slackness of pools, down long, eddying riffles,
To the rush of spillways narrowing
And steepening suddenly
To white water
Where the river is leaving everything to chance and turning
Over and interrupting its own half-motions
Constantly in bursts and arches,
Mantling, spun into tendrils,
Its wild gestures
As memorable at a glance as marble but dying, reborn
Only another glance away, as the center
Of our attention, shifting at random
Everywhere like the sunlight,
As caught by the play
Of light on all these surfaces, churnings and interweavings,
Upheavals, blossomings, an impulsive garden
Where we search and search as if for answers
And see its one reply:
Nothing is the same
Ever. This intricate bewilderment of currents,
In its least ripple, is unrepeatable.
The windbreak of alders we pass now,
The gravely leaning pale-boned
Row gone ashen,
Love, is another river, its bed channeled by seasons.
Our faces come near each other, mysterious
As water always. We cross a pool,
Translucent, the stones below us
Glimmering, remaining.

-- David Wagoner

David Wagoner